This fall, Thomas taught a fourth year design studio at NJIT, which wrapped up with a final review on December 4th.
The studio, titled “Core and Shell or Palazzo Degli Uffizi” was a study in the tall office building typology. The starting point was a consideration of the core and shell typology which is repeated internationally and has become an industry in itself, a culmination of a series of standard systems and parts that work together to create the basic real-estate commodity of open plan leasable office space.
A common theme in each of the projects was a reconsideration of the nature of the work space, with a shift from formal and flexible environments exemplified by the open plan to a series of more program specific shared and common spaces, as well as a series of more flexible informal spaces that accommodate the nature of contemporary office work environments.
All of the projects explored a structural scheme that shifts from the paradigm of the central shear resisting core + exterior skin, and proposed situations in which the structural configurations of the buildings created deep shifts in the building’s logic.
Following the initial prototype development phase of the studio, each group split up to explore the instantiation of their building type on three different urban sites in New York City. The systems were therefore tested against specific urban conditions and its’ behavior modified accordingly.